The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever

In my mind, the only thing better than a pie is a pie with streusel or crumb topping.  There is a recipe on this blog, and in The Mom 100 Cookbook, for The Best Streusel Apple Pie, and no joke I make about ten a year, three on Thanksgiving alone.

You can also use streusel to make any muffin that much better. Berry Cinnamon Streusel Muffins are a case in point, but really any muffin can be streusel-fied with gratifying results.  Just make sure you have not overfilled your muffin cups with batter, as when the batter rises the streusel could start to slide off the top.

Quick breads and coffee cakes also benefit from streusel-ization.  (I feel myself getting annoying).  One of our favorites: Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake with Sweet Vanilla Drizzle.  If you have house guests and you want to make them feel very special, make one of those.

You can make streusel topping in a number of ways:  you can use your fingers to cut in the cold butter, or two knives, but the easiest way I know, especially if you are making a sizable amount is to use the food processor.

A foolproof step-by-step guide to making great streusel topping for pies, cakes, quick breads and muffins.

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Streusel Ingredients:

  • Sugar – for sweetness and crumbliness – I usually use a mix of brown and white granulated sugar.
  • Flour – also adds heft and crumbliness. I use all-purpose flour.
  • Spices – any warm spices work here. I like a combo of ground cinnamon and ground ginger, but you might also use some cloves, nutmeg, or allspice. And don;’t forget a little bit of salt to amplify the flavor!
  • Butter – use unsalted butter and make sure it is well chilled to it can be cut into the dry ingredients once they are blended. zcut the butter into little pieces so it incorporates easily and gives you little peas sized bits. Warm butter will turn the streusel into a paste, and not give you that appealing crumbly texture.

How to Make Streusel in the Food Processor

Place dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor.

the best struesel / Mia / Katie Workman /

Pulse to combine.

The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever / Mia / Katie Workman /

Add the cut up chilled butter.

how to make streusel in the food processor / Mia / Katie Workman /

Pulse until it becomes nubby but don’t let the motor run—you want it to be bumpy, not to come together into a paste.

how to make great streusel / Mia / Katie Workman /

Now, go top your pie( or muffins or coffee cake or quick bread or whatever)with your streusel crumb topping!

Recipes with Streusel Crumb Topping

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How to Make Great Streusel Topping in the Food Processor

A foolproof step-by-step guide to making great streusel for pies, cakes, quick breads and muffins.
Yield: 10 people
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes


  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  • Add the cut up chilled butter. Pulse until it becomes nubby but don't let the motor run—you want it to be bumpy, not to come together into a paste.
  • Now, go top your pie (or muffins or crisp or bread or cake) with your streusel crumb topping!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Yummier than the rest. The brown sugar caramelizes and adds a depth of flavor. Brilliant to add a dash of Kosher Salt, too, for flavor complexity. Simple and brilliant!

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